So Tennessee Senator Bob Corker is in trouble now, because he flip-flopped to vote for Donald Trump’s tax bill after a provision was included that reportedly helps him personally.
Color me not shocked. I spent most of this past summer investigating Corker, whose personal finances have been an open scandal for years. Everything you need to know about the Senator can be discerned from this chart.
Click on that link and you’ll see: Corker went from having an estimate net worth of zero when he entered the Senate in 2007, to being (as of 2015) the fourth-wealthiest man in the Senate, worth $69 million.
How do you increase your net worth by 69 million dollars while you’re working full-time as a Senator? That is not an easy story to explain.
Moreover, Corker didn’t just enter the Senate without any money. He entered it carrying, according to his own disclosure forms, a mountain range of huge loans.
Corker took office in January, 2007, during the last gasp of the Bush/Rove political juggernaut. The Iraq war had gone south and the Republicans had just been routed in midterms. The financial crisis was just around the corner. And nobody paid attention to the smooth-talking freshman Senator from Tennessee, who turned out to have some financial issues.
It wasn’t until Corker took office and filled out disclosure forms that his finances became public – sort of. Few in the media seem ever to have read the “liabilities” section of Corker’s first disclosure, where the former mayor and construction magnate listed a series of massive outstanding loans. At the low end, Corker appeared to owe a hair-raising $24.2 million. At the high end, $120.5 million.